Sometimes America forgets that the world existed long before the news did.
This article originally appeared on 01.28.22
Nothing can ever fully prepare you for being an adult. Once you leave childhood behind, the responsibilities, let-downs and setbacks come at you fast. It’s tiring and expensive, and there's no easy-to-follow roadmap for happiness and success.
A Reddit user named u/Frequent-Pilot5243 asked the online forum, “What’s an adult problem nobody prepared you for?” and there were a lot of profound answers that get to the heart of the disappointing side of being an adult.
One theme that ran through many responses is the feeling of being set adrift. When you’re a kid, the world is laid out as a series of accomplishments. You learn to walk, you figure out how to use the bathroom, you start school, you finish school, maybe you go to college, and so on.
However, once we’re out of the school system and out from under our parents’ roofs, there is a vast, complicated world out there and it takes a long time to learn how it works. The tough thing is that if you don’t get a good head start, you can spend the rest of your life playing catch-up.
Then, you hit middle age and realize that life is short and time is only moving faster.
Adulthood also blindsides a lot of people because we realize that many adults are simply children who grew older. The adult world is a lot more like high school than a teenager could ever imagine.
The Reddit thread may seem a bit depressing at first, but there are a lot of great lessons that younger people can take to heart. The posts will also make older people feel a lot better because they can totally relate.
Being an adult is hard, exhausting and expensive. But we’re all in this together and by sharing the lessons we’ve learned we can help lighten each other's load just a bit.
Here are 21 of the most powerful responses to the question: “What is an adult problem nobody prepared you for?”
"Lack of purpose. All your young life you are given purpose of passing exams and learning, then all of a sudden you are thrown into the world and told to find your own meaning," — Captain_Snow.
"You can stay up as late as you want. But you shouldn't," — geek-fit
"Where did all my friends go?" — I_Love_Small_Breasts
Most of them are at the same place as you are ... Probably wondering the same thing," — Blackdraon003
"I'm closer to fifty than forty, would have been nice to be better prepared for some of the ways your body starts to change at this point that don't normally get talked about. For instance your teeth will start to shift from general aging of your gums," — dayburner.
"Didnt know that other adults have the emotional intelligence of teenagers and its almost impossible to deal with logically," — Super-Progress-6386
"$5K is a lot to owe, but not a lot to have," — Upper-Job5130
"Handling the decline and death of your parents," - Agave666
"Not having a lot of free-time or time by myself," — detective_kiara
"Not having a pre-defined goal once I was out of college. Growing up my goals were set for me: get through elementary school! then middle school! Then high school, and get into college and get a degree, then get a job, and then...? Vague "advance in your career, buy a house, find a spouse, have a kid or multiple, then retire." At 22 I had no idea how to break that down more granularly," — FreehandBirdlime
"Life is all about maintenance. Your body, your house, your relationships, everything requires constant never ending maintenance," — IHateEditedBGMusic
"Being able to do so many things because I'm an adult but too tired to do any of them," — London82
"Being an adult feels extremely lonely," — Bluebloop0
"Having to make dinner every. Fucking. Day," — EndlesslyUnfinished
"The more life you’ve lived, the faster time seems to go," — FadedQuill
"You are held to account for bad behaviour for which you are negligent even if you had no intention to cause harm. As a lawyer, I see this all the time. People don't think they're responsible for mistakes. You are," — grishamlaw
"The intricacies of workplace politics," — Steve_Lobsen writes. "
"When you're in school, you think that you won't have to deal with gossiping and bullying once you leave school. Unfortunately, that is not true," — lady_laughs_too_much
"How easy it is to feel stuck in a bad situation (job, relationship, etc) just because the cost and effort of getting out can seem daunting. And sometimes you just have to accept a figurative bowl full of shit because you can't afford to blow up your life," — movieguy95453
"Figuring out what makes you happy. Everyone keeps trying to get you to do things you're good at, or that makes you money, but never to pursue what you enjoy," — eternalwanderer5
"The kitchen is always dirty. You’ll clean it at least three times every day," — cewnc
"One adult problem nobody prepared me for is how expensive everything is. I always thought that as an adult I would be able to afford the things I wanted, but it turns out that's not always the case! I've had to learn how to budget and save up for the things I want, and it's been a difficult process," — Dull_Dog_8126
"All of it together. I was relatively warned about how high rent is, car bills and repairs, how buying healthy food is expensive as hell but important for your health, how to exercise and save what you can, my parents did their best to fill in my knowledge about taxes and healthcare and insurance that my schooling missed, about driving and cleaning a household, about setting boundaries at work but working hard and getting ahead if you can, about charity and what it means to take care of a pet and others, about being a good partner if you were lucky enough to have one, about how dark and messed up the world is when you just read the news and what all that means to me and my community… I was reasonably warned about all of it.
"No one could have ever prepared me for how hard doing all of it at the same time and keeping your head above that water would actually be," — ThatNoNameWriter
It's Awesome Animals Week at Upworthy! That's what I'm declaring anyway, as nine out of 10 of this week's things that made us smile include creatures being painfully cute or utterly hilarious.
It's not surprising that our furry, feathery and leathery friends so often make these lists. Pets are constant and consistent sources of joy in our lives and wildlife can be wonderfully entertaining.
There are a few humans thrown in here for good measure, though. I considered totally leaning in and only including things that included animals this week, but there was one animal-free video I simply couldn't not include. I saved it for last. You'll see.
We've got wicked smart birds. We've got acrobatic elephants. We've got dogs and cats living together—"MASS HYSTERIA!" (A little OG "Ghostbusters" shoutout for my Gen Xers.) I just love this list and hope you enjoy it too.
Blue Chicken’s 2nd Birthday is next week! Stay tuned for the surprise 🎂 🎉 #funnypets #parrot #irn #funnyanimals #talkingparrot #thebluechicken
Kiwi is an Indian ring-necked parrot whom Tamara (his owner) refers to as her "blue chicken." He is so dang sweeeeet. "Thank you, baaaaby!" That third zerbert was an outright demand, but how could you say no to Kiwi?
I love how you can hear everything the dog is thinking as he moves in while trying desperately not to make eye contact with the cat. "Don't mind me…just pretend I'm not here…it's okay, I won't disturb…just let me squeeze…I won't touch, I promise…please don't kill me."
The nuzzle at the end. That's just pure adoration right there.
He had a lot of catching up to do with the doll! #parrots #cairothegrey #parrotsoftiktok #africangrey
Cairo made the 10 things list several weeks ago for saying hilarious things like, "Don't be a gerbil" and "Smarten up, man!" to the cat who invaded his space. This bird is soooo smart. Look at how many different approaches he takes to try to get the doll to respond. "You talking or what? Yes or no?" Incredible.
He absolutely loves to have a picnic ❤️ #fyp #hamster #hamsters #hamstersoftiktok #thehamsterstation #pet
First of all, this person has two hamsters and their names are Mr. Marshmallow and Mr. Crumpet. STOP IT. Secondly, I didn't know watching a hamster eat a piece of spaghetti at a picnic table was a bucket list experience, yet here I am adding it to my list after the fact. Read more about the delightful lives of Mr. Marshmallow and Mr. Crumpet here.
Come on now. How are we even supposed to handle such human kindness mixed with such good doggo-ness. That last image is just too much.
Some cats do this weird "alugalug" sound when they're ticked, and South African musician The Kiffness dueted this one to perfection. So good. Find more from The Kiffness here.
\u201cMother: This is the last time I show you how to go down..\n\nSon:\u201d— Buitengebieden (@Buitengebieden) 1660778602
"Put one arm down first, then bend your knees, then bring down the other arm, then one back leg at a time. Got it?"
He don't got it. Recovered quickly, though!
caught this pure moment and I haven’t stopped smiling since 💖💗💕💝💓💘💞 #viral #dogsofttiktok #catsoftiktok
The video went crazy viral and the man saw it. He made sure to let people know in the comments that he had approached the cat previously to assess its temperament before introducing Ted (the puppy) to it and that Ted had interacted with cats before. Ted's dad didn't want people to think he was endangering either animal. So sweet. Read the full story here.
See why I had to include that one? Gracious.
I hope you found some things in this list that made you smile! Come back again next week for another roundup of serotonin-boosting content.
This article originally appeared on 02.08.22
One the more mysterious aspects of being human is our sense of intuition. This "sixth sense" isn't something we can see or measure, but many people have experienced it in some form or fashion. Maybe it comes as a strong feeling that something isn't right, or that we or someone else should or shouldn't do something. It can be hard to read—not every feeling we get is truly our intuition—but there are plenty of examples of people trusting their instincts and being glad they did.
One such story has gone viral on TikTok. Jessica Higgs, a mom who works as an Instacart grocery delivery person, shared a story in an emotional video that illustrates the importance of listening to that inner voice when it prompts you to make sure someone is OK.
"I just want to start this off by saying if you see something, say something," Higgs said.
She explained how she had done an Instacart order the previous day for a daughter who was ordering for her older dad who couldn't shop for himself. She said she was going the extra mile like she always does for her customers, and that the daughter told her to just drop the groceries on the porch and he'd get them. That's what Higgs would usually do.
"I get there and something was telling me no, you gotta help this man out," she said. "He came out, and I was like OK let me help you, and I got the groceries. You're not supposed to go into someone's house, but I used my judgment and I brought the groceries inside and put them down wherever he wanted me to put them down. You're not supposed to, but I did. And you're supposed to just take a picture and leave, and I could not just leave."
@Instacart #28DaysOfEucerin #fyp
Higgs noticed that the man looked really sick and she was really concerned. A voice in her head said, "You gotta say something. You gotta say something, Jess." Rather than mark the order as complete, she messaged the man's daughter and told her that it was really unprofessional to say something like this, but she felt like her dad wasn't doing well. "There's a propane tank in there," she told the woman. "I was in there maybe five feet and I got dizzy. There's got to be a leak. He might not be doing good because of this leak."
The woman said she would send her son over to check it out and Higgs left. The woman changed her tip from $14 to $100, which Higgs appreciated, but the message she sent her the next morning was a much greater reward for her going the extra mile.
"Thank you so much, once my son went to check on my dad it turned out it was definitely leaking," she wrote. "You definitely saved my dad and my younger son's life!!!"
Through tears, Higgs said, "I'm just an Instacart worker, but if you see something, say something. I did and I'm so happy I did."
Higgs' TikTok has been viewed more than 15 million times and has been shared widely on social media. It has also attracted the attention of big companies.
Royal Caribbean Cruises shared a TikTok video of its own praising Higgs for her heroic act and offering her and her family a seven-day cruise anywhere in the world. "Cause even heroes need a vacation," the company wrote.
Stitch with @jessicahiggs3 - cause even heroes need a vacation. Thanks @captaincruiseguy
Old Navy connected with her and arranged a shopping spree where she got to model several new outfits. People Magazine commented, "You’re literally a HERO! Good job trusting your instincts. 💕" Even TikTok itself wrote, "You are amazing ❤️thank you for sharing this with all of us."
Lots of commenters also pointed out that she's not "just an Instacart worker." Her work is important, she's providing a needed service and any job done in a spirit of helping others should not be minimized. If she hadn't been there doing her job well, that man may not be here. Never underestimate the difference each of us can make by the simple act of looking out for one another, friend and stranger alike.
Higgs' heartfelt story touched millions, and she's being rightly rewarded for listening to her heart and going out of her way to help someone. Gotta love seeing good things come to people doing good. Well done, Jessica Higgs.